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COLOMBIA
CASE N° CO/121 - PIEDAD CÓRDOBA
Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 175th session (Geneva, 1st October 2004)


The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of Ms. Piedad Córdoba of Colombia, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/175/11(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 174th session (April 2004),

Recalling that Ms. Córdoba was kidnapped by the "Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia" (AUC) between 21 May and 4 June 1999; that on 7 November 2000 the detention of paramilitary leader Carlos Castaño Gil was ordered, but the investigation later closed, pending the courtís determination of whether the matter could proceed to trial on the basis of its legal merits; considering that Carlos Castaño Gil disappeared in April 2004,

Recalling that Ms. Córdoba was the target of attempts on her life in December 2002 and January 2003; that the investigation into the attempt on Ms. Córdoba's life of 20 January 2003 was at the evidence-taking stage, that four persons already in detention were implicated and that, on 18 September 2003, a preliminary investigation found them to be involved in that crime; the matter was pending the courtís determination of whether it could proceed to trial on the basis of the legal merits,

Considering that, according to the source, Ms. Córdoba, Mr. Petro Urrego and reportedly a third parliamentarian were physically attacked on 18 May 2004 and groundlessly detained by the police for a brief period during a peaceful demonstration in Cartagena; the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Justice reportedly apologised for the incident the same day,

Taking account of the information provided by the President of the Colombian Senate, on 16 June and 27 September 2004, that the National Congress was ensuring the monitoring and political oversight of the execution of the protective orders issued on 5 March 2003 in favour of Senator Córdoba; that the National Congress, for its part, supported political pluralism, in which those holding various political and ideological views had the right to participate and to express their opinions and dissent concerning the bills before the Congress,

  1. Thanks the President of the Colombian Senate for the information provided; appreciates the efforts made by the Congress to ensure protection measures for Senator Córdoba; and trusts that it will continue to monitor her security situation in order that appropriate measures may remain in place;

  2. Regrets that no official reply has been forthcoming regarding the stage reached in the investigations into the attempt on Ms. Córdoba's life of January 2003; trusts that trial proceedings have meanwhile commenced, given that the presumed culprits were charged more than a year ago and appear to have been at the disposal of the judicial authorities ever since; and would greatly appreciate confirmation on this point;

  3. Also trusts that, given the indisputable evidence of the role of Carlos Castaño in Ms. Córdoba's kidnapping in May 1999, the case against him has meanwhile passed on to the trial stage, and that every effort is being made to ascertain his whereabouts in order for justice to take its course;

  4. Earnestly hopes that the commitment of the Congress to safeguarding and supporting political pluralism will result in effective action to prevent incidents highly detrimental to the political opposition's exercise of freedom of expression and of assembly, such as the recent assault and brief arbitrary arrest of Ms. Córdoba and Mr. Petro;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent authorities and to the source, asking them to provide the requested information;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 112th Assembly (April 2005).

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